Before our baby was born we decided we want to give baby wearing a try. Now at nine months our little girl enjoys being in a baby carrier and we love it too. She has been in one since birth and it is a great way to soothe our rarely fussy baby. Although I haven't tried many, I have come to love the Soft Structured Carriers for their ease of use. Recently I had the opportunity to try out the new Boba Organic carrier made by NAP, Inc., the same people who brought us the Sleepy Wrap. Here is a little intro to my review (I made it for my blog):
FIT: The fit of a baby carrier is important because it will determine the level of comfort for both the parent and the baby. It looks like the people at NAP, Inc. thought things through really well. I am reassured they did when I read about the thought process that led to the design that met the needs of their toddler son. I can say that it is very comfortable for me to wear and it fits well on my husband too. He is a foot taller than me. So it is very versatile. I also think my husband likes it because it is not 'feminine' but very gender neutral and stylish. The fit on the waist/hips and shoulders is great. I do wish the waist belt was a little softer, it seems a bit stiff. At the same time it feels very secure with the baby in it because of that feature.
What makes the Boba stand apart are the foot straps. They are designed to take the pressure off the hamstrings for longer toddler legs. That feature alone makes this the perfect toddler carrier. It also has a taller rise to support the back of toddlers.
QUALITY: My first thought when I took it out of the box was "oh it is so soft!" It truly is an amazing material, a very soft yet durable organic cotton. The stitches on all the seams and where the straps meet the carrier are top notch and ready for years of use. I truly believe that there is a different level of quality for products made in the US, this is what you will get with Boba.
EASE OF USE: If you are intimidated by wraps and slings with five page directions on how to put it on, the Boba is for you! It is basically like putting on a backpack with some parachute buckles. Of course you have the added factor of the baby. It will not be nearly as complex as the carrier you saw in the beginning of the video above! For me the tricky part is putting her in the back carry position on my own since she doesn't understand yet when I say 'hold on to mommy' and she is very wriggly. So back carry takes some practice or you do it when someone is around to help you. Front carry is a piece of cake really, that is what I use most of the time. As with anything, practicing a few times makes things a lot easier. For me the hard part is reaching for the chest strap to buckle and unbuckle it when she is in the front.
VALUE: For the quality you get in this particular Soft Structured carrier, it is very competitively priced. You will not find another carrier made from organic cotton at $99. It comes in six stylish color combinations. Although you can't use it from birth (only starting at 15 pounds), it will last you through the toddler years though other carriers would be too small already. I do wish this carrier also had the option of the hip carry position, which I found a lot more comfortable when the baby is 6 to 8 months of age. Overall I think the combination of the Sleepy Wrap and the Boba will get you from birth to 4 years comfortably and as a cost effective option.
COMPANY: NAP, Inc. is a company that I as a natural parenting advocate, am happy to endorse. Their company mission is something that resonates with me as a green living advocate and with my motherly instincts. "NAP, Inc.'s mission is to provide comfortable and durable baby carriers to parents throughout the world and give them a helping hand in raising confident, joyful and compassionate children." This really sums up the baby wearing support provided by NAP, Inc.:
"When a mother shares her life and space and moves with her baby through her day she will fall in love with her child. She will naturally treat her baby with understanding, compassion and respect from which will blossom a loving relationship based on trust. This "trust" is critical as it is the basis not only for a child's healthy neurological, behavioral, and social development, but sets the stage for which that child will build and form all of his subsequent relationships throughout his life."
They also support many natural parenting organizations. They are an advocate for home birth, doulas, breastfeeding, elimination communication, home education and unschooling, etc. The perfect match for EcoMama I'll have to add :)
EcoMama Green Factor: +5 As green as you can go with a baby carrier (if you live in the US). It is made from organic Texas cotton and it is made here in the States. Can't beat that! On their website you will also find many ways that NAP, Inc. practices sustainability as a company. _____________________________________________________________ Exclusive to Eco-Babyz and Lunch.com readers, use code ecobabyz10 to get 10% off a Boba carrier through December 8, 2009 on their website (see wiki).
For toddlers and young children, this is about as good as it gets. It's never going to feel fantastic carrying around a child who weighs 30 pounds and up, no matter what carrier you choose. But if you have a strong back and a strong desire to keep using a carrier past the toddler stage, then this is the best carrier I've found for that purpose. Background: I'm an experienced "babywearer" and have owned about 10 types of carriers, from Moby Wraps to … more
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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Boba is a Soft Structured baby carrier (SSC) that is intended for toddlers 1-4 years old (15 pounds and up). Boba has a few extra inches of height to keep your center of gravity closer to your body and support your little one's back. The innovative thing about Boba carrier is that there are foot straps attached to the waist belt for the child’s feet to sit in enabling a healthy sitting position for the child. The footstraps not only give little tired legs a rest, but support the legs in a flexed abducted (froglike) position which naturally tilts the pelvis, fills out the hip sockets, and aligns the spine.
accommodates child 1-4 years (15-45 lbs / 7-20 kg)
one size fits most adults
front and back carry
made with GOTS and OE100 certified 100% organic cotton
100% organic Texas cotton lining
safety buckle to prevent unintended release
high density waist and shoulder strap foam
foot straps for extra leg/hip support
high back for better overall support
made in Boulder, CO USA
body 15 inches wide and 16 inches tall
19 inch shoulder straps that extend an additional 19 inches